Hotel could bring extra $1.6 million to Menlo Park

A proposed luxury hotel near Interstate 280 could double the city's income from hotel taxes, but some wonder whether that's enough to outweigh concerns about the hotel-office proposal.

Stanford University is proposing a 125-room hotel and 100,000 square feet of office space on land it owns on Sand Hill Road. Hotel guests paying an average of $385 per night would bring Menlo Park an extra $1.1 million a year in hotel taxes when the hotel opens in 2008 — and up to $1.6 million by 2011 when it's fully operational, according to a CB Richard Ellis study the City Council recieves tonight.

In total, the project would bring an estimated $1.94 million a year to Menlo Park's general fund and contribute more than $460,000 in property taxes to local school districts. Many in the city see that is good news in light of this year's $2.9 million budget deficit.

“It looks very nice, from a revenue standpoint,” Councilmember Lee Duboc said. “We've seen a decline in tax revenue since 2002.”

Conley Consulting Group offered a critique of the CB Richard Ellis study, arguing it assumed operating costs — such as police and fire protection — would be zero. CCG found that the project's revenues would exceed costs nonetheless.

Councilmember Andrew Cohen supports the hotel but not the office space, and suggested the land could be better used to resolve Menlo Park's shortage of sports fields. Many residents along Sand Hill Road are concerned about the increase in traffic that could come if project is built, according to project neighbor Charlotte Meisel.

The Menlo Park City Council will discuss the study tonight at 7 at City Hall, 701 Laurel St.

bwinegarner@examiner.com

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